Last December 16 marked the 81st anniversary of Lin Zhao’s birth (it’s technically the 82nd because although her birth certificate says 12/16/1932, her real birthday was 12/16/1931). Lin, a top student from Peking University, was imprisoned for defending students and leaders persecuted during Mao Zedong’s Anti-Rightist Movement in the late 1950s. A gifted writer, Lin composed endless articles and poems from her cell. Forbidden to use pens, she wrote using a hairpin dipped in her own blood. In 1968 she was executed, her tragic life lost to the margins of history.
Four decades after Lin’s execution, filmmaker Hu Jie filmed Searching For Lin Zhao’s Soul, a chronicle of Hu’s investigative journey to bring Lin’s story to light, uncovering the details of this forgotten woman’s fight for civil rights.
Hu Jie has collected multiple articles about the anniversary, many of which are published in particular relation to the recent news of former Red Guard Song Binbin’s apology for participating in the student movements that led to the death of her former teacher, Bian Zhongyun, at the start of the Cultural Revolution. This incident is documented in another documentary by Hu Jie, Though I Am Gone. Both Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul and Though I Am Gone are available as part of the dGenerate Films Collection.
The following articles provided by Hu are all in Chinese. The authors and titles are translated into English by Isabelle Tianzi Cai.
Rui, Di. “The Collective Incarnation of a Youth Generation Whose Lives were Ruined [Bei Zang Song De Qing Chun Yi Dai De Ji Ti Hua Shen]” in Groupe Radio France Internationale, Groupe RFI. Jan. 10, 2014.